Oral cancer screening is a procedure in which a dentist or doctor examines your mouth for indicators of cancer or precancerous diseases. Oral cancer screening aims to detect mouth cancer at an early stage when there is a better possibility of a cure. During a typical dental visit, most dentists will examine your mouth to check for oral cancer. Additional tests may be used by some dentists to help identify irregular cell areas in your mouth.
What is Oral cancer screening?
Oral cancer screening comes in several stages, from a Screening Test to a Comprehensive Oral Cancer Screening.
Your dentist will most likely perform a basic exam on you, which will include a comprehensive examination of all sections of your mouth, including:
- Outside and within, your lips
- Your gums are in good shape.
- The insides of your cheeks, from all sides and underneath your tongue
- Your mouth’s lining
- Your throat’s backside
If you have dentures, you will be required to remove them so that the tissue beneath them may be examined.
They may place one finger under your tongue and one over your skin below the chin and then move to sense a tissue all around. Your dentist may also examine the area beneath your jaw.
The exam should take no more than an hour. The idea is to search for lumps and patches in the spit that covers all of the pink portions of your mouth and see if anything looks out of the ordinary.
- It’s simple: Oral cancer screening is a simple procedure. It’s so simple that you may do it while getting your teeth cleaned and examined. All your dentist has to do is look for signs of oral cancer on your lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth. He may even examine the throat on occasion.
- It has the potential to save your life: If oral cancer is detected early on, it is considerably easier to treat and your chances of survival improve dramatically. This is why screenings are so crucial. If you are screened regularly, cancer will probably be caught early.
- It is cost-effective: Oral cancer screening is included in your regular dental exam at no additional cost. The only time you may have to pay extra is if cancer is discovered and additional treatment is required.
Who is it for?
Oral cancer screening aims to discover precancerous lesions or oral cancer which could progress to mouth cancer at a beginning phase while lesions or cancer are easier to remove and cure.
Oral cancer can be caused by several factors, including:
- Tobacco use in any form, such as pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and snuff, is prohibited
- consuming a lot of booze
- Oral cancer diagnosis in the past
- Extensive sun exposure history, which raises the risk of lip cancer
Oral cancer is more likely to progress if early diagnosis or management is delayed. In many ways, advanced-stage oral cancer treatment is difficult. To keep your mouth healthy, everyone should see a dentist at least once a year. However, doctors disagree on how frequently people should have oral cancer screening exams. Certain people believe that being checked out is a good idea when you have a high risk of contracting the disease.